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Top-ranked Dakota dominates Comets, Panthers

Wolfe drifts by Snow

Newman's Jake Snow (left) wrestles Dakota's J.J. Wolfe in a 145-pound bout during Tuesday's triangular in Erie. Wolfe won 3-2 in double overtime.
Newman's Jake Snow (left) wrestles Dakota's J.J. Wolfe in a 145-pound bout during Tuesday's triangular in Erie. Wolfe won 3-2 in double overtime.

ERIE – This time around, Wolfe was able to manage a Snow storm.

Dakota junior J.J. Wolfe was able to hold off Newman senior Jake Snow 3-2 in double overtime on Tuesday night. It was the marquee bout in a triangular featuring the Indians, Comets and Erie-Prophetstown.

It was the second meeting in 10 days between Wolfe, ranked first at 138 pounds by Illinois Matmen, and Snow, who is No. 2 at 145 pounds. Snow won a 2-1 ultimate tiebreaker in the 145-pound finals at the Princeton Tournament on Jan. 11.

"All the way to the state finals, it's going to be me and him back and forth," Wolfe said. "It's going to be a battle all the way."

Snow struck first this time around, with a reversal early in the second period to seize a 2-0 lead. Wolfe responded with a pair of escapes, one with 32 seconds left in the second period, and the other early in the third, to tie things up.

After a scoreless 1-minute overtime period, Snow won the coin flip to start double overtime, and chose the down position. He came close to escaping, but was unable to as Wolfe had a firm grasp on Snow's left leg.

Wolfe then went on the bottom, and needed just 7 seconds to execute an escape.

That forced Snow to go on the offensive, as he needed a takedown to take the lead. He nearly did it with 1 second on the clock, but the move was ruled out of bounds.

"I do refereeing on the side," Snow said. "We're taught when you've got both hands underneath inside of his arms, that's two points. I don't know – maybe my foot was out of bounds. A loss is a loss. All I've got to do is improve on it."

The triangular featured numerous state-ranked wrestlers from all three squads, but there was no doubt who the top dogs were. Dakota, which won a Class 1A state title a year ago, served notice it is the team to beat against this year.

The Indians, ranked No. 1 by Illinois Matmen, routed No. 17 Erie-Prophetstown 53-21, and Newman, which is receiving honorable mention notice, 59-12. The Panthers and Comets combined to win just four bouts from the Indians.

"I think we wrestled as best we could against Dakota," said E-P assistant coach Nate Swanson, subbing for head coach Tod McCullough, who was ill. "They're a tough team, and we just need to figure out things we need to work on going into the postseason."

Dakota wasn't even close to full strength. Dillon Swift, ranked No. 1 at 106 pounds, and Carver James, who is No. 1 at 145 and would have bumped up to 152, both missed weight by .1 of a pound. Also, the team's regular 170-pounder, Dylan Lydon, is nursing a rib injury and was held out of action.

"We did OK," Dakota coach Pete Alber said. "I think we did good with what we had. There's just a few things to work on, and I think we need to get in better shape, I really do."

Senior 132-pounder Josh Alber, a star among stars in the Dakota lineup, improved to 30-0 with a pair of wins. He is now 158-0 in his high school career.

Leading the way for Newman was senior 170-pounder Bryce Ivey. He had the lone win against Dakota with a pin of Alex Victorov in 1:19. Ivey then scored an 11-3 major decision against E-P's Nick Williams.

For the Panthers, sophomore 152-pounder Dylan Binion won two bouts. He opened with a 1-0 decision against Dakota's Greg Krulas, then scored an 8-0 major decision from Newman's Brandon Ahlgrim.

Erie-Prophetstown handled Newman 56-16 in the night's third match.

Stars of the meet: Bryce Ivey (Newman), Dylan Binion (E-P), 2 wins apiece

Up next: West Carroll, Sherrard at Newman, 5:30 p.m. today; Amboy, St. Bede at E-P (Erie), 5:30 Thursday

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